Guillaume and Amandine, a young French couple, who have been volunteers in Jerusalem for almost two years, return to France on Monday, May 8, 2017.

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Guillaume and Amandine Desbarbieux, a French couple, were sent to Jerusalem to work in the Saint James Vicariate by the Délégation Catholique pour la Coopération, the French Bishops’ organism for volunteers, sent to help the Church all over the world.

The young couple began work immediately with the babies and children that frequent the day care center and after school program now housed in the Saint Rachel Center. Having studied infant care and pedagogy, the two have made a wonderful contribution to the programs. Their devoted service, their commitment to the children and their adaptation to our culture have made their stay among us a wonderful gift. Both of them learnt Hebrew while they were here so that they could understand us and the children and communicate with us.

While they were with us, Amandine fell pregnant and in February 2017, Maryam Yerushalayim Laetiza was born. Maryam (named for Saint Maryam Bawardi of Bethlehem) Yerushalayim (named for Jerusalem in the Ge’ez tradition where girls are named for the Holy Places) Laetizia was baptized in the Jerusalem kehilla. We await her to return when she is a young woman as a volunteer.

Thank you Amandine and Guillaume. We pray for you and hope you will return often to visit us! Thank you to the Délégation Catholique pour la Coopération for your support! (We still remember with love and appreciation Magali Baron, whom you sent a few years ago).